Physiological stretch induced proliferation of human urothelial cells via integrin α6-FAK signaling pathway

Xiaoshuai Gao, Tangqiang Wei, Banghua Liao, Jianzhong Ai, Liang Zhou, Lina Gong, Yuntian Chen, Qing He, Liang Cheng, Kunjie Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Aims: To test a kind of stretch pattern which is the optimum stress parameter to promote human urothelial cells (HUCs) proliferation, and to investigate the roles of integrin subunits and their pathway in the HUCs proliferation induced by physiological stretch. Methods: HUCs were seeded on silicone membrane, and subjected to four kinds of stretch (0,5%,10%,15% elongation) for 24 h, as controlled by a BioDynamic® bioreactor. Cell proliferation, viability and cycle distribution were examined using Cell Counting Kit-8 and flow cytometry, respectively. The gene and protein expression of integrin subunits and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in each group were assessed by Real-time PCR(RT-PCR) and western blot, respectively. Small interfering RNAs (siRNA) were applied to knockdown integrin α6 and FAK expression in HUCs, and FAK inhibitor was used to validate the role of α6 and FAK in cell proliferation under physiological stretch. Results: The proliferation of HUCs were highest in the 5% elongation group compared to static control, 10% and 15% elongation group. RT-PCR and western blot showed that 5% cyclic stretch significantly promoted the expression of integrin α6 and FAK. The stretch-induced cell proliferation and FAK expression was inhibited by siRNA of integrin α6. Further study with FAK inhibitor revealed that elongation promoted proliferation though integrin α6 and FAK signaling pathway. Conclusions: Physiological stretch induced HUCs proliferation via integrin α6-FAK signaling pathway, and 5% elongation may be the optimal stress parameter to promote the cell proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2114-2120
Number of pages7
JournalNeurourology and Urodynamics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • bladder outlet obstruction
  • cell proliferation
  • focal adhesion kinase
  • human urothelial cells
  • integrin
  • simulated physiological stretch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Urology

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